Our daughter had her psychotic break at age 18-19. After about a year’s treatment, she wanted to drive.
I should start by mentioning that she has the 22q11.2 chromosome deletion syndrome (VCFS), which makes her friendly and compliant despite having schizophrenia (it can be one of the symptoms of VCFS).
We paid for five courses of driver’s ed. After five tries she passed the written and road tests, and we gave her my husband’s old car. She was living fairly independently by then. We paid all its expenses as she had only SSI and was too ill to work. We are her legal guardians and take care of all her bills, as she doesn’t have the IQ or executive function to do that, and has ADHD.
Things turned out very well. She’s now in her late 30s, works part-time, has SSDI, and is married. She now is on her third used car (her husband put in half the cost).
She has never caused an accident but has been hit three times in parking lots. That’s when we realized that just as important as knowing how to drive a car is being “together” enough to deal with an accident! Keeping your cool even if the other driver’s behaving badly, calling the police and insurance (required by law), dealing with the tow truck (her insurance provides towing), finding a different way to get to work, etc.
I’d say that the decision about driving is like anything else with a person who has challenges. Start very small and go inch-by-inch. “Small” would = taking driver’s ed, qualifying for the license, driving short distances in a borrowed car, proving he/she can manage routine car maintenance, insurance, etc. (unless you plan to do this), describing what to do in an accident (maybe role-playing?), and helping to save for a used car.
Help your child keep an eye on the prize–which is being able to get where he/she wants and needs to go. Taxis exist and so do parents and friends and (sometimes) buses and subways, even if car ownership is not achieved soon–or perhaps ever.